This cheesecake is adapted from a vintage back-of-the Argo cornstarch recipe. It’s been updated over the years and there’s a new version on Argo’s web site, but this seems to be the recipe people love because I kept seeing requests for it on lost recipe forums. It had been in my files forever and I’d been waiting for an excuse to try it. Last night my dad came over for dinner, so I had one.
I started the cheesecake early in the day and it came together in minutes thanks to my trusty food processor. Another bonus was that I didn’t have to deal with making a crust. As someone who actually likes a good graham cracker crust, my worries that we would miss it were put to rest by the grandness of the finished product. In this case the loose, thin layer of graham cracker crumbs was more than adequate.
The cake is not baked in a water bath and it’s not what I’d call creamy. This is one of those dense, silky, thick cheesecakes you’d find at a good steakhouse. The flavor is better than most because along with hint of lemon and vanilla, you get the tart from the sour cream and a little butter flavor to round it all out. As for the topping, I fully intended to make Argo’s strawberry recipe (below), but the strawberries at H.E.B. did not look so good yesterday and were double the price as usual. You can use any topping you want, but plan on having one because this cheesecake will probably crack.
Argo Classic Cheesecake
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 large eggs
1 lb. cottage cheese (not low fat)
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 oz salted butter or 4 oz unsalted plus 3/8 tsp salt, melted and cooled
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups regular sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Strawberry glaze (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch round springform pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over bottom.
Combine egg and cottage cheese in blender or food processor and process until smooth. Gradually blend in cream cheese. Put mixture in a bowl and whisk in the sugar, melted butter, cornstarch, sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan and bake on center rack for 1 hour 15 minutes or until edge is firm. Turn off oven. Let cheesecake stand in oven one exactly hour to cool. Remove from pan and let sit at room temperature for a while. When it’s cool, transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours. Cheesecakes are usually better on day 2, so you could make this ahead of time. Top with strawberry topping below or topping of your choice.
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup crushed strawberries
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups (approximately) nice looking whole strawberries
Combine cornstarch, water, corn syrup and crushed strawberries in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Strain. Stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Arrange whole (or you can slice them) fresh strawberries over top of cheesecake. Cover strawberries with the glaze.